Hockey India slaps a reply to DCW's notice on Sardar Singh's rape charges
Hockey India comes out in support of under fire skipper Sardar Singh.
The saga of rape allegations on Sardar Singh turned nastier as Delhi Commission for Women was sent a strongly worded notice by Hockey India in reply to the notice that was sent by Delhi Commission for Women to the hockey body. In the notice, the hockey governing body has sought time of 10 weeks, which shall include the span of the Olympic Games in Rio, to get back to the Commission over the rape allegations.
Earlier, the DCW had sent a lengthy 24-page notice to Hockey India asking what action does the hockey body plan to take against the team’s skipper in the wake of the complaint made by the woman who happens to be a British national.
Hockey India has hit back with the notice and has even hinted at a political conspiracy. The premier body for the game in the country has pointed out that the complaint has been filed at a belated stage by the victim. The Hockey body has said that it will verify all the facts before responding to the 24-page notice it was sent to by the DCW.
This follows the complainant’s claim that the police have been deliberately delaying the investigation in order to help the hockey player. The allegations by Singh’s partner — a British-Asian hockey player — were first made public in February this year.
Earlier, the Delhi Commission for Women had recommended registration of an FIR against India Hockey captain Sardar Singh in the case. DCW chief Swati Maliwal had also demanded an FIR be registered against Punjab Police for failing to register the first information report (FIR) against Singh despite the woman alleging rape and assault in January 2016.
The letter sent on 22nd June also cast aspersions on the claims made by the victims and instead calls it a vendetta to prevent the captain of the hockey team, Sardara Singh to travel to Rio Olympics with the team.
“Like you have referred to press reports, there are contrary press reports referring to the complaint in the section of the media stating it as a vengeance and that the complainant wants to ensure that Mr. Sardara Singh should be prevented to participate in the Olympic Games. In such an event, when a person is claiming vendetta and filing a complaint at such a belated stage, it is utmost necessary to verify and scrutinize all the allegations.”
The hockey body also has sent a stern reminder to the DCW in the letter that an enquiry into the allegations made against Saradara Singh lies beyond their jurisdiction.
“Be as it may from the tenor of the notice it is also apparent that the enquiry into the allegations made by the complainant is beyond the jurisdiction of the Delhi Commission for Women. We may, however, add that you may choose to advice the complainant to lodge a complaint with an appropriate police station and let the police authorities investigate the entire matter.”
The victim has alleged that Singh, whom she met in 2012 Olympics, forced her to abort their child against her wishes in 2015 and later refused to marry her after they had been in a 4-year long relationship. She has even accused the hockey star of sexual harassment, rape and criminal intimidation.
The letter, signed by Executive Director R.K Srivastava, concludes by saying, “We once again assure you that we will reply to all your queries only after receipt of documents/Annexures from your end and within the time extension requested by us due to our full-time involvement in preparation of India Men and Women Hockey Teams for 2016 Rio Olympics.”
The Indian hockey team recently won a silver in the Champions Trophy in which Sardar Singh didn’t feature as he was rested ahead of the all-important Olympics starting in seven weeks time.